TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Jason Ottosen was born and raised in southern California and received a secular college education. Unlike Cherith, he was not raised in a Christian home, but God saved Jason just as He had Cherith. The Lord led him to Gethsemane Baptist Church where he enjoyed serving as a bus captain and later, the bus director. As Jason’s heart was burdened by the testimonies of visiting missionaries from around the world, God began to direct his attention toward the mission field.
Cherith Stevens, a Christian school teacher from Delaware with a master’s degree from Bob Jones University, felt the call of God on her life to be a missionary. She attended Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI), graduating in 2007. While at BBTI a partnership was formed with fellow students who planned to reach the Kamea people of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Gulf Province. After graduation Cherith spent five weeks with the Kamea people, learning some of their unwritten language and culture. She returned from her short-term trip with the desire to return full time as a missionary linguist and Bible translator.
God had not sent the right man into her life, and Cherith was determined to serve God as a single missionary. She began deputation and God blessed her with her support in a very short time. At a conference in Tennessee, Cherith met Pastor David Smith from Long Beach, California, and he asked her to come to his church. She had enough support and her fill of traveling, but she reluctantly agreed to go. Before the service, the pastor’s wife, a very successful, veteran matchmaker, told Cherith, “There is someone we want you to meet after church.” Cherith thought, “Here we go again!” (She’d been through this before.)
Pastor Smith didn’t give her the usual ten or twenty minutes to present her work; he gave her the entire service! So for forty-five minutes she spoke and looked at the young, single men in the congregation, wondering which one it was. “If he’s one of the slouchers out there,” she told herself, “I’m not even going to consider him.” After the service she met Jason—and he was not a sloucher! Their time at the restaurant was very enjoyable, as was the their long conversation that night—and so were subsequent visits in both California and Delaware. They prayerfully sought God’s will in the possibility of a future relationship. On her way back to PNG, Cherith stopped over in California. That day, Jason asked her to marry him and she agreed. So for the next nine months she spent her time learning more Kamean language and culture and thinking about Jason.
Jason spent a few weeks in 2009 among the Kamea people of PNG and, as Cherith had done, fell in love with them. He came home and enrolled in the Advanced Missionary Training at BBTI, graduating in May 2010.
In December 2009, Jason and Cherith were married. They began their deputation soon after, and in September 2011 they had their first child, Grace.
Jason and Cherith are returning to the Gulf Province to give a people the scriptures they desperately need. They are sent out ofFaith Baptist Church of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.